How to rewild your garden with minimal effort and low cost to protect wildlife – according to gardening experts


Garden Buildings Direct experts have encouraged garden owners to make simple changes to their gardens to help wildlife thrive.

Whether it’s birds or butterflies, badgers or bees, there’s a corner for every animal in the garden and gardening enthusiasts can use their skills to help wildlife thrive, not just to survive.

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Reseeding your garden can attract animals and creatures of all sizes, even hedgehogs. (Photo credit: Garden Buildings Direct)

Liz Broadbent, company director and lead planting designer of Harrogate-based bespoke gardening service Garden Wild, believes there is a growing need to give some of our urban spaces to wildlife as more and more more campaigns are lost to monoculture.

As such, it is important that we know the best ways to design our gardens in favor of wildlife and the environment.

His top tips for regenerating with minimal effort and low cost are:

If you can find space and plant a wood or create a wildflower meadow, you should end this opportunity.

However, if your garden is small, this shouldn’t put you off. You can dig up some of the lawn, create a naturalistic border full of perennials and grasses that attract wildlife.

Liz suggests buying 9cm pots to keep costs down and a naturalistic border is easy to maintain once it has been established and will only need trimming once a year.

2. Leave your garden a little messy during the winter

“It can be tempting to cut everything back in the fall and be super tidy, but remember that those seed heads on your grasses and perennials and the hips on your roses not only look fabulous in the frost, but are a source important food for birds,” says Liz.

“Relax and wait for early spring to make your cut.”

According to Liz, a mix of short and long grass grains is so important for species diversity.

If you have space leave a section to revert back to scrubland or forest, if you have a smaller garden just let certain areas of your lawn grow.

Liz says you can even plant perennial pollinators in the grass to get a wild look and attract insects. This gives you less time to mow and more time to enjoy your garden.

It is potentially the most wildlife-friendly habitat you can create to help living creatures thrive in the wild.

Be sure to leave a shallow end for animals to get in and out of and make it accessible by leaving access holes in your fences or tunnels below.

5. Take a walk in nature to find inspiration

Another idea to fully enrich your mind is to look around the environment and see what has already been naturally conceived. This is free and requires no effort.

The experts at Garden Buildings Direct have also compiled a list of tips on how to re-wild your garden.

Animals are attracted to food and even more so when they don’t have to make the effort to find it.

Nuts and seeds are therefore ideal snacks to feed the birds or you can be adventurous and find mealworms for the foxes.

Water is very important for wildlife to thrive, so providing a place to drink or a place for them to clean themselves are great ways to get animals to enjoy your garden space.

Providing them with all the basic necessities will make them a safe haven for them to stay in your garden.

To increase your chances of slightly larger animals coming to your garden, such as hedgehogs, you can provide them with a comfortable habitat that will encourage them to spend the night.

This comes in the form of a small rock garden or a fully formed birdhouse.

Not only do trees and shrubs provide optimal habitat for animals and insects, but they also have many health benefits for humans.

The fruits and leaves are ideal food ingredients for a range of insects and animals of all kinds and there are plenty of options for gardens of all sizes.

It may not attract the most exotic wildlife, but composting provides an excellent home for small critters and fungi.

Organic produce from a compost bin can help care for garden plants and trees by propping them up with healthy, nutrient-rich soil.

Ms Broadbent said: ‘British Gardens is becoming one of the most important nature reserves for wildlife. Animal gardening has been around for years, but has long been the domain of ineffective insect hotels, piles of random logs and patches of nettles at the bottom of the garden.

“Recent trends in gardening have seen a move towards rewilding gardens, where planting and design are inspired and directed by nature and natural processes. Rewilding captures the essence of our wild plant communities and creates vital habitat for wildlife.

“A large re-wild garden makes you feel a sense of wonder, as much as you would feel walking through an alpine meadow or an ancient forest.”

A spokesperson for GardenBuilidngsDirect.co.uk said: ‘With spring on the horizon, now is the perfect time to keep busy in the garden and bring wildlife back.

“Whether you have a small patch of lawn, a concrete yard, or a balcony, there are many small changes you can make to bring nature back and create a thriving green space.

“Animals are very similar to humans in that they love food, especially when it’s free! Giving them a small offering of their favorite snacks is like giving them a welcome invitation to your garden.

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